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View Diary: What Would James Madison Do (WWJMD)? Would the Framers Support the Occupy Wall Street Movement? (112 comments)

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  •  Why - becuase it simply is untrue (0+ / 0-)

    As for your points:

    1) It was neither pro nor anti slavery. Slavery had nothing to do with it.

    2) The 3/5th's clause's effects do not define its intent.  Furthermore it did not "over-represent" the South.  There was no uniform means of establishing representation.  In fact that was the system of proportioning taxes PRIOR TO the Constitution - which is why it was used.  It had nothing to do with slavery.

    3) Why extend the date - in your question you already overlook the real issue - that was a recognition that the issue of slavery needed to be dealt with at some point ... but that the Constitution was not the appropriate time and place (because then there would have been no Constitution and no Nation - you would have had either 3 independent nations or 13 - which is what  was being proposed (and what those who advocated the Constitution were explicitly trying to avoid)).

    4. There is plenty - too much - shoddy research in this area.  There is not a lot of quality material on this.

    5) Again - you keep conflating a claim (that I don't make) - that the Constitution was intended to be ANTI-slavery - with the claim that I do - that the Constitution had NOTHING TO DO WITH slavery.

    Why did it not abolish slavery?  Because it supported it?  No.  That is a logical fallacy.  Why didn't you stop Scott Olsen from being shot in the face last week? Because you wanted him to be?  It did not abolish slavery - because it was not intended to - and had nothing to do with the issue at all.

    6) My "lazy" argument is built on two decades of detailed scholarship in the area.

    7) Beard's book is not foundational.  It is fundamentally flawed.  He claims for Madison's tenth federalist positsion that Madison did not take - and was fundamentally opposed to.

    8) As for the Civil War - that is a simple answer.  No.  But it has nothing to do with revealing my context for attempts to intervene here.

    I am a Constitutional scholar who has spent two decades on these very issues.  To understand the logic of the Constitution - and what has gone wrong in practice.

    •  as a "scholar" (0+ / 0-)

      you have lost all credibility with this claim:

      "8) As for the Civil War - that is a simple answer.  No.  But it has nothing to do with revealing my context for attempts to intervene here."

      Just read the statements of secession from the individual states, and of course the VP of the confederacy, where they explicitly state that white supremacy and the protection of slavery are the core issues they are leaving the Union.

      And also, the document is pro-slavery when it protects the slave trade, and allows a condition that should be against the very tyranny that the framers stood against (funny too, they used the language of "slaves" and "slavery" to define the justness of their struggle against the Crown).

      Again, why the skin in the game?

      So those folks, Rogers Smith in particular and his work Civic Ideals are just wrong? What of the book Mind of a Master Class, just wrong?

      As a scholar please tell me how you are intervening in the literature, and against what consensus?

      We can argue nuance and details, but there are no serious folks who I am aware of in this day and age who do not see the Constitution as a compromise document that protected slavery and was written by folks who understood a proper democracy to be one that was racialized.

      •  Have I? (0+ / 0-)

        The Civil War issue does not impact my evaluations of the Revolutionary War.

        But as for the Civil War - it was a war fought over principles of sovereignty and governance.  It was also a war brought on by economic factors.  Incorporated within all of that - as one part - but not the major part - was the existence of slavery.

        But that does not make the Civil War a war over slavery.

        In fact slavery does not become directly associated with the war until Lincoln makes it so to garner support - in a Nation that generally DID NOT SUPPORT - for the war.

        Because in the BACKGROUND CONTEXT there was a struggle over slavery going on prior to the Civil War.

        But it was NOT going on in government.  That issue was - probably the core reason why it ended up with a Civil War - kept off the table by the party-dynamics and party interests of the day.

        In fact it is that aspect that we should perhaps be learning from history about - because it directly applies to today's issues.

        As for "no serious folks" - I don't know any serious and credible "folks" that view the Constitution as explicitly about slavery IN ANY way - let alone as a compromise document.

        And I certainly know of nothing that can support the last phrase about a "racialized democracy" being a general principle generally recognized.

        •  slavery was central to the civil war (0+ / 0-)

          we can fight over it as part of a bundle of issues, but the driving narrative was over wealth, sectionalism, and race.

          you can wrap that up in language about party failures and representation. but the driving issue, the state's rights rhetoric, and the very words of the parties involved on the slaveocracy's side clearly demonstrate that race and white supremacy were driving elements in the confederacy's seceding.

          it would make sense, no? human property was the number one capital good in the country. of course, the south would fight and die to protect it, the psychic wages of white racism and whiteness aside.

          •  Slavery was inseparable with the times (0+ / 0-)

            but it was not the cause (in both senses of the word) of teh war.  It neither caused the war - nor was it the cause that those who fought the war went to war to fight for.

            •  read (0+ / 0-)

              what the folks "who are part of the times" actually said about slavery. give them the agency of their own words.

              that is another lazy, straw man argument too that I love, "they were a product of their times" who supported a foul, destructive, evil system that killed millions of people for the enrichment of one class of people over another.

              it is lazy because it ignores that people "of those times" saw slavery for what it was and advocated for its elimination.

              the perpetuation of slavery was a choice by white elites for material, psychic, economic, and political reasons.

    •  also (0+ / 0-)

      "4. There is plenty - too much - shoddy research in this area.  There is not a lot of quality material on this."

      please, what shoddy research? that is a straw men, for when the research doesn't validate our priors, we diminish it!

      again, what did Jefferson in his own words write in Notes on the State of Virginia?

      •  You ask me? (0+ / 0-)

        You raised the claims to "plenty of research" - shouldn't you be providing it.

        I have started with the FOUNDATION of it - because nearly all the rest builds on its flawed premises - by citing Charles Beard's Economic Interpretation of the Constitution.

        As for what did Jefferson say in his own words in the Notes on the State of Virginia - let me ask you two questions:

        1) What did Jefferson say on the issue at the Constitutional Convention - if you want to claim that Jefferson's words elsewhere somehow prove something about that document?

        2) What did Jefferson say on the issue in the Declaration of Independence?

        •  i did (0+ / 0-)

          look above.

          Mills is wrong? Smith is wrong? Hahn is wrong? Roediger is wrong...his newest book on race and American history is very good btw, you should check it out. John Hope Franklin, one of the country's greatest historians who also wrote on this issue is just wrong?

          So we have historians, political scientists, philosophers, and legal studies types saying, "hmmmm there is something up here, a "democratic" document is produced in a moment when democracy and citizenship were racialized, gendered, and class based? Magic! maybe those understandings are somehow represented in the type of political document they crafted?"

          So profound. Why deny this?

          You go hard on Beard, but you miss the counter-argument that has been made by many folks smarter than you or I, that he may have been off in his narrow argument about causality because of his materialist orientation, but he was not wrong in the basic idea that the ideas about freedom and citizenship and democracy expressed by the framers and the elite class were a reflection of their material positions in society.

          You are constructing a straw man in Beard in order to try to rebut a very basic premise: the Constitution is a practical document, however imperfect that was radical for its time but that reflected the interests of the people who made it.

          This should not be so unsettling for a "scholar".

          Are you part of the fetishize the "founders" club? They were just men, smart, but just people, not gods.

          •  The idea that democracy was racialized (0+ / 0-)

            is - in my view - scholarly nonsense.  But then again - probably 3/5ths or more of scholarly literature these days is nonsense.

            We will have to leave it at that.

            •  so folks who are more (0+ / 0-)

              highly regarded than you, are tenured, have won book awards, and really know this literature are playing with "nonsense?" Disagree based on research, empirical findings, theoretical rigor, and hard work, don't reject claims just because you don't like them.

              but at this point you are really showing your butt!

              I am right, there is something deeper in this game for you.

              Check out some of Goldberg's work. And come on, you have a country that has to explicitly write in black folks with the equal protection clause, then fight Jim and Jane Crow, and finally pass the Voting Rights and Civil Rights Acts and you say American democracy was/is not racialized.

              You sound like a narrowly (and poorly trained) legal studies type, given that "scholarly bent" check out the book White by Law which looks at how immigration law and the notion of white group membership was litigated and changed over time. America has historically, in its law, defined citizenship as being limited and bounded by whiteness. Non whites in fact, were not even allowed to become naturalized citizens for most of this country's history up to the 20th century.

              •  What do you know about me (0+ / 0-)

                and my scholarly work?

                What - of all things - does TENURE have to do with it!?  Do you know the politics of tenure?

                What does a book award have to do with it?

                I have not placed my work along side of those you refer to.

                As for narrowly and poorly trained - My doctorate work is in Law from University College London and in Politics from the University of Florida.  I have an LL.M. in Legal History and Jurisprudence from University College London.  An M.A. in Legal History and Jurisprudence (with distinction) from University College London.  An M.A. in Political Science from the University of Florida.  B.A.s in Philosophy, History and Political Science from the University of Florida.  And a B.S. in Microbiology from Auburn University.  I have a Law Teacher's Certificate from University College London.  And I have taught both undergraduate and graduate level courses in law and political science/theory at University College London and the University of Florida.

                You want to put your C.V. to the test?

                •  yeah, i looked you up (0+ / 0-)

                  and yes, book awards have a good amount to do with it. they are an acknowledgement of one's work, their relationship to the discipline and respect by peers.

                  if i have to take your view that democracy in america is "not racialized" versus Roger Smith's it is an easy choice.

                  if i have to take your claim that the civil war was not primarily about white supremacy and slavery versus morgan  it is an easy choice.

                  in fairness i would take them over most, myself certainly included, any day. i am aware of this fact and difference, you appear not too.

                  your arguments here are dishonest and selective. we call that piss poor scholarship. this is why i keep asking you what skin do you have in this game, why deny the obvious? your claims can intimidate and bully neophytes and lay people, but for folks who know a little more than the average bear, they are easily exposed.

                  i do hope that you do not bring such selective insights into the seminar room, as that would be unfortunate for your students.

                  i didn't announce myself as a "scholar" you did. thus, you have to carry that burden.

                  trust me, i would put my vitae against yours any day. this isn't a pissing contest, until you made it one.

                  your claims are thin, moreover, please respond to the cites i listed above please, the georgia articles of secession, loewen and morgan, etc.

                  •  Well you can believe what you want (0+ / 0-)

                    as regards to my arguments being "dishonest" ... and all the rest.

                    I would have to disagree with many of your criticisms.

                    And I didn't make it a pissing contest.  You were the one demanding "qualifications" to make statements - and then made assumptions about my education.

                    I'd suggest you are taking this too personally - and spend most of your time on ad hominems.

                    But I think we have gone through this enough.

                    •  this is fun (0+ / 0-)

                      you have never answered any of my questions or interventions. i didn't make assumptions about your education, i wondered who trained you and how then could be making the claims that you were, given how poorly evidenced they are.

                      this is personal because it is about the truth. when you misrepresent something as important as the constitution to folks you are trusted with teaching, it is personal and important. when we minimize the role of racial inequality in this country's history and government and society it is personal.

                      much of the mess in this country now is caused by a failing educational system and a process wherein all opinions are elevated to fact, however specious. we have fools running for President who believe that America was founded as a Christian Nation because some hack historian told them so. This is very worrisome.

                      your arguments are dishonest and intentionally overlook any of the strong counter arguments or evidence to the contrary.

                      they are also poorly structured and reasoned--esp. in regards to the 3/5th clause and America as a racialized democracy.

                      If you are a scholar as you pretend to be--note, never announce yourself as a scholar of anything, that is tacky and invites attack because most folks who are the real deal don't go around announcing it--go do some more reading and track down some of the books I suggested.

                      I can give you an exam list if you like. It will be like doing your comps again.

                      •  As I said - this is going nowhere. (0+ / 0-)

                        Your arguments, actually, are unsound - and you simply ignore or read into my points what you want to be there.

                        Let's just agree to disagree on this.  I am not going to post any further on this tangent.

                        •  my arguments are fundamentally sound, easy one (0+ / 0-)

                          simple question, one more softball for you,

                          was Jim Crow an example of racialized democracy?

                          easy one, even easier than was slavery a primary cause of the Civil War...

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